they built the wall slowly: one foot
at a time, leaving space around frames
for windows
and doors,
spaces to enter, or leave;

walls built of stone, meeting
at corners, spaces to one
day grow dust —

and what is your home
if not for your dust —

we all have our earliest

walls built, eventually climbing,
climbing until shuttered by rafters,
by shingles and snow.

now it is later; the trees in the yard
have matured and the house
won’t hold heat

and still there is warmth in the earliest
walls: first corners and stones, those
which eventually sink, every year,

inch by inch back to the earth


if there were a choice i’d be scarred
and unpretty, you could
not hold it against me that i
wear mascara

we broke it off on the porch in
mid-august, over raccoon eyes, my
pigtails, that i’d been drinking beer
with my friends,
my oversized sweatshirt,
my lack of a bra

you smudge eyeliner off with the
back of your hand, play
finders keepers with
me even

i guess i am smaller than
you are in more ways than one

at a time.

they explode in the sky,
an orange haze burns
horizon for weeks.
i cross one leg over the
other, one shadows the other
on purpose when walking.
they saw it coming.

ahead of him we stop, watch
melting metal rain upon the fields.
twenty nine years from now
in your photo the colours will blend,
effortless, the horizon will slope.
he will not be

in the distance my silhouette shifts its
weight to one leg, collapses an arm.
you cross a field, find the prints
of my boots in the snow.

the whiteness envelops the land.
our red sky inverts, fades into
night, one star explodes
at a time.


an attraction less halted,
more swept with the
streets by the salt trucks

he tells me it’s been
a long year, thinned like
the bottoms of socks we would
fold on his bed,
deflated like bellies
emptied for
summer, bites from
the bugs in the grass, or limp,
fallen like leaves, as far as
we have to the floor.

i say i forget.
don’t remember that bed,
or the weather


(contrary to boys.)

one thing follows another. there is you, and there is no you, and by the end there never was. you are less than memory. i spilled lies about being your friend. i am my ex-boyfriend’s friend, i am my ex-lover’s friend, i am my occasional casual fuck’s friend. i am not yours. you never existed. there is no you. they understand, and in the absence of you there is room for that type of comparison.

there is a space i allow myself to venture into once every two or three years, that i don’t actually belong in. i find my way through trickery, all deceit and lies. sometimes my own, sometimes not my own. it doesn’t matter. the space is always itself, it does not ask for more. i make no comparisons there. i gauge no reactions, i scan no bodies looking for a perfect place, a dream. i count no items. the space is welcoming and lets me believe i am safe there. the space collapses quickly once it begins. as these spaces tend to do. you were that space, and now you are not.

it is simple.
girls like me cannot breathe honestly there, they do not make logical sense there, they cease to exist inside. it is a good thing there are not many girls like me.